NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - When someone has a stroke, time is of the essence. And now, the Fox Valley has a certified, comprehensive stroke center to quickly care for those patients.
ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is now one of only five certified comprehensive stroke centers in the state, and the only one in the fox valley that can provide all around acute care to stroke patients.
"Emergency room, neurology, neurosurgery, radiology, all with coordinated care plans to get the care to patients immediately," says Dr. Todd Peebles, ThedaCare's Medical Director of Interventional Radiology.
Statistic show, when someone has a stroke, minutes matter. Quicker intervention leads to better outcomes.
Dr. Peebles says, "It's an enormous asset to people in our community because the kind of care that we provide really makes a difference in the initial presentation. So, if you had to be transported a couple hours a way it could make a big difference in your outcome."
No one understands that more than Ellen and Greg Braatz from Appleton.
"There was some thought that she may never go home again and she'd be spending the rest of her life in a nursing home," says Greg Braatz.
His wife, Ellen Braatz, is a stroke survivor. She spent ten days in the ICU at ThedaCare following her stroke, and then another six weeks in inpatient therapy. The work Braatz did, coupled with the care she received, has led to a full life. She and her husband continue to travel and she participates in 5K events.
Greg Braatz adds, "We do the same things we used to be able to do, but we've learned to do them differently. And the people here have been able to get Ellen to the point where we can do those things again."
Things the Braatz aren't sure would have been possible if they had to travel outside the area for care and treatment.
"It would involve a lot more commuting time and we would have gotten less care," says Greg Braatz.
Care Ellen Braatz continues to receive, when she needs it, since the stroke center is so close to home.